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Legislative Speaker prepares new proposal to break deadlock
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-27 06:06 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said he would prepare a new proposal to break the deadlock over the review of the trade-in-services pact with China after a third round of talks between ruling and opposition caucuses broke down Thursday morning.

Representatives of the major political parties, including the ruling Kuomintang and the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, met under Wang’s chairmanship.

At the heart of the talks was whether to let eight legislative committees review the trade deal clause by clause and vote on each clause, as had been promised shortly after Taiwan and China signed the pact last June. The KMT caucus forced a premature ending to the committee review on March 17, provoking the start of an occupation of the Legislative Yuan by students the following day which is still continuing indefinitely.

On Thursday morning, the KMT finally seemed to agree to a return of the trade pact to the committee level, but only on conditions that Wang should preside over the review which could take place in any location and that the DPP should drop its “obstructionist” attitude.

DPP chief whip Ker Chien-ming rejected the KMT conditions, saying the ruling party was still being insincere in its attitude toward the cross-party talks.

Wang called on the caucuses to present possible solutions to the stalemate as soon as possible, or to allow him to come up with a proposal of his own.

In a statement, the legislative speaker said he would continue his efforts to find a solution. He called on the caucuses to be rational, work on improving mutual confidence, and put common points first rather than differences. Everybody was working hard for the common good of the nation, he said.

Wang described President Ma Ying-jeou’s recent offer of direct talks with student leaders as a good start. More wisdom and reason would still be necessary to set aside differences and find a consensus, his statement reportedly said.

There was no immediate word on when the next round of talks between KMT and DPP caucuses might take place. As the occupation of the Legislative Yuan passed the 10-day mark, Wang hosted the discussions at his official residence.

Earlier, he had hinted no new talks might be coming because of the contacts between the Presidential Office and the student leaders, but those did not achieve a breakthrough.

The occupiers announced Thursday they would expand their protest to include Ketagalan Boulevard, the road leading to the Presidential Office Building, with a rally beginning Sunday at 1 p.m. without a set date for an ending.

The DPP said it had already applied to use the boulevard on March 30 for a Made in Taiwan market, but it would turn over its permission to the students. DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang was planning to participate in the rally as a private citizen, a party spokesman said.

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